By intracellular recordings, we studied the effects of pH buffering on the size of the receptive field and the extent of dye coupling of horizontal cells (HCs) in the light-adapted carp retina. These parameters were compared between data obtained in fortified Ringer's solution and those obtained in control bicarbonate Ringer's of the same pH (7.60). In Ringer's fortified with 10 mM HEPES or 15 mM Tris, the dye-coupling ratio of HCs increased by 71% and 70%, respectively. These fortified Ringer's solutions also depolarized the dark membrane potential and increased the light-evoked response. The HC receptive field profile could be described by the exponential decline in peak response amplitude to a slit of light moved tangentially from the recording electrode. Thus, the receptive field size was determined as a space constant proportional to (gj/gm)1/2, where gj and gm denote gap and non-gap-junctional conductances. The HEPES- or Tris-fortified Ringer's significantly increased the space constant by 43% and 41%, respectively. Since dye coupling was increased in the fortified Ringer's, it is likely that gj increased more than gm as a result of alkalinization of the cytosol. Since HEPES has an aminosulfonate moiety, it has been assumed to close the hemi-channels of connexin 26, but the pH-buffering effects were essentially the same as those of Tris that has no aminosulfonate moiety. Therefore, it is unlikely that the closure of connexin 26 hemichannels is responsible for the change in the receptive field size of HCs.